'This Week' Transcript: Leahy and Sessions

And this Don't Ask, Don't Tell controversy is a complete side show to the real questions that are -- that should be asked. Because many universities have as a policy that they don't allow employers onto campus and use resources to recruit who can't certify that they refrain from discriminating against some of the university students. And that was the general policy that Dean Kagan applied in that instance. It was a perfectly appropriate thing to do.

But let me just say, about her achievements, if you look at what Democrats have said in the past, I mean, Patrick Leahy, when Sam Alito was nominated, said, of course nobody contests his qualifications, but a good resume is not enough; we have to know what his beliefs are.

And Barack Obama, when Harriet Miers was nominated, said we know remarkably little about what she thinks about the great constitutional issues of the day, and therefore she has to tell us what she thinks before she should be confirmed.

And let me just ask Mr. Craig, who's a defender of hers and says, well, she's one of the most qualified nominees ever, look at the great legal issues that have confronted the court, Roe v. Wade; the issue of gay rights, in terms of Bowers v. Hardwick; affirmative action; the president's authority in the war on terror; even the efforts by the administration now to reduce Miranda rights and other rights that American citizens have.

Can you point to anything that she has said or written in the past that would let Americans know what she believes about those issues, how she views past Supreme Court rulings on those questions?

CRAIG: What you're arguing for here is a judge and only judges should be on the Supreme court. And she's not a judge, so she doesn't have the 17 years of writing opinions that Sonia Sotomayor does.

GREENWALD: But lots of law professors have written numerous things about those questions. Has she?

CRAIG: She's written five or six law review articles. She taught classes...

GREENWALD: So what has she said that would enable people to know about those great issues that have confronted the country and the court, anything?

CRAIG: Yes. She's...

GREENWALD: Well, what is it? What are those things?

CRAIG: Every day, Elena Kagan has taught students, administered law professors.

GREENWALD: What has she said about those issues?

CRAIG: Well, she'll answer questions about that when she's...

GREENWALD: But you're defending her. Can you tell Americans what she thinks about those things?

CRAIG: She's -- she is largely a progressive in the mold of Obama himself, President Obama himself.

TAPPER: Let me ask a question. Because Glenn brings up -- we only have a little bit of time left in this segment, but it seems like, much like other -- perhaps John Roberts is a good example -- she has been cautious, preparing for this day, and not taken big stances.

Of course, I -- you know, when she was dean of Harvard Law School, maybe there were political considerations, being in that job. But has she not been cautious, perhaps hoping for this day?

WILL: Well, it's the job of senators to chip away at her caution.

Let me show you how they can do this. One of the questions would be -- we're all interested -- what would she rule on the constitutionality of the health care mandate that's being actively litigated around the country?

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